New research from Harvard and Princeton shows that in the last decade, the percentage of workers in “alternative work arrangements,” including contract and freelance work, increased 50 percent. The gig economy is booming, and with it the number of platforms designed to help you find contract work or sell your services directly.
If you’re looking for a piece of that pie to turn your hobby into some extra spending money, look no further than BetterMoneyHabits.com for advice. Whether you’re a crafter, baker, coder, or driver, these five steps will have you on your way to supplementing your income with a side gig:
Start by brainstorming hobbies and skills you practice regularly. List as many as possible. And keep in mind there doesn’t need to be a physical product. Services, such as tutoring and photography, can be profitable too.
Determine how much it will cost to make each item or provide each service, this is money you won’t get back until you make sales. Include any marketing costs.
Now is also the time to consider if there’s a market for your product or service.
Spread the word to potential customers, including friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. You may need to provide your product or service at a discount to help bring in referrals and drive word of mouth marketing.
Gain exposure by connecting with others in the industry and advertising locally. Consider attending local trade shows, exhibitions, markets, and fairs.
Take advantage of the Internet to reach customers further away from home. Social media is a great place to start, but you can also expand to online classifieds and sales platforms.
Develop a business plan and stick to it. Be sure to track – accurately – business expenses and income to ensure you’re making a profit and spot any financial problems before it’s too late.
Make sure to save your receipts from business-related purchases. Your earrings will be subject to income tax, but certain business expenses are tax-deductible. Check with a tax advisor for more information.
Looking for more business advice? The Small Business Administration is a great resource for entrepreneurs at all stages of business ownership.
Once the cash starts rolling in, managing your part-time or freelance income can be challenging, including planning around irregular income, and managing your own taxes and retirement accounts. Get started by checking out our three steps to saving in the gig economy and watching the BetterMoneyHabits.com video below for some great strategies to managing your part-time income, all while keeping your budget and savings goals on track.
Need motivation to save for your small business? Let America Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn’t stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.